How GPS Tracking Alerts can Save Your Fleet Time and Money

March 15, 2021

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Key Takeaways

GPS tracking alerts, frequently included on GPS tracking devices, can help your business gain greater visibility into your end-to-end operations, by notifying you of real-time changes happening across your fleet. These alerts sound in real time to help you take action immediately and increase the safety, efficiency, and sustainability of your business.

What are GPS tracking alerts?

GPS tracking alerts are notifications you can receive from a GPS-connected device, like Samsara’s Vehicle or Asset Gateways. While alerts can vary from safety-based notifications to maintenance updates, they all aim to inform you of a critical event or issue happening in real time.

You can use GPS tracking alerts to get information about your operations in real time, so you can take action immediately. For example, you can receive an alert if a driver is approaching an unsafe speed which can help you coach and adjust driver behavior in real time.

How can GPS tracking alerts benefit your fleet?

GPS tracking alerts can help your business gain greater visibility into end-to-end operations. This means having a better understanding of idling, driver behavior, harsh braking, unauthorized usage, and more. Plus, with real-time alerts, you can increase the safety, efficiency, and sustainability of your fleet by taking action right away. 

This means taking a more proactive approach to your fleet management, whether that’s proactively coaching drivers on safer driving, communicating maintenance issues before they get worse, or adjusting reefer temperatures before products run the risk of spoilage. 

For example, The City of Fort Lauderdale was able to use Samsara to better understand vehicle idling and increase fuel efficiency across their fleet. To do this, they used Samsara idling alerts to receive a notification when a vehicle was idling over a specified amount of time. This helped them reduce idling by 20% across their fleet, while also providing opportunities to coach drivers on more efficient driving. 

A guide to Samsara GPS tracking alerts 

With the Samsara platform, fleet administrators can create and manage alerts to increase real-time visibility into their operations. Admins can choose to be alerted via email or SMS text messages, and can choose who in the organization should be notified. In addition to GPS-based alerts, here's the full suite of alerts you can get with Samsara:

Temperature alert: This alert notifies you when temperatures increase or decrease from a predetermined temperature. You can adjust the temperature that triggers this alert through the Samsara dashboard or pull temperature reports to quickly review historic temperatures and confirm consistent quality.

Humidity alert: Similar to the temperature alert, the humidity alert is triggered when the humidity level in a reefer or room reaches the percentage set by the admin via the Samsara dashboard. 

Connection alert: The connection alert is triggered when a Samsara sensor or device is offline for either 15 minutes or 60 minutes, based on admin preference. 

Vehicle unplugged Alert: In the event that a Samsara Vehicle Gateway is unplugged from its vehicle, this alert will be automatically triggered so an admin can take immediate action. 

Device battery level alert: This alert notifies the admin if the battery is low on any given Samsara device.

Geofence alert: The geofence alert can be used to create a notification for any time a vehicle enters or exits a specific geographic area, which can be predetermined by an admin. 

Speed alert: Speeding alerts trigger when a vehicle exceeds a specified speed. This allows fleet managers to get in touch with drivers who are approaching an unsafe speed or proactively coach drivers who frequently exceed the speed limit.

Fault code alert: Receive an alert when a vehicle fault code, also known as a Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC) alert, is read through the OBD-II or J1939 connector.

Vehicle engine idle alert: A vehicle engine idle alert notifies you when the engine is idling for a specified amount of time. You can customize which vehicles to set an alert for and how much idle time should pass before you receive an alert. 

Vehicle battery alert: This alerts the admin when a vehicle's battery has reached low energy.

DVIR defect alert: This alert notifies an admin when a driver submits a DVIR (both safe or unsafe) with a defect.

Dash cam disconnected alert: In the event that a Samsara AI Dash Cam becomes disconnected, an alert will trigger to notify the admin.

Driver HOS Violation Alert: If a driver is approaching an Hours of Service (HOS) violation, an alert will automatically trigger.

Route stop arrival alert: To improve route monitoring, an admin will receive an alert when a vehicle is approaching a scheduled destination. The alert contact can be either a fleet admin within the organization or a customer expecting a delivery.  

Harsh event alert: An alert will trigger if the Vehicle Gateway detects a harsh event with the built-in accelerometer that monitors for harsh braking, acceleration, and cornering. 

Scheduled maintenance alert: An alert that notifies you of certain preventative maintenance items like engine logs, diagnostic data, and more. 

Document submission alert: The document submission alert will notify you as soon as a document submission occurs, via the Driver App. 

Out of route alert: This will send an alert when a vehicle has deviated from its intended route. This allows you to monitor unnecessary stops and potential theft in real time.

Vehicle DEF level alert: An alert will trigger when the DEF level falls below a defined threshold and remains there for a specified amount of time. 

Equipment engine state alert: You can configure an alert to trigger when an engine was turned on or off. This visibility also notifies users when equipment is not in use for a specific, intended purpose.

What else to consider when selecting a GPS tracking system for your fleet

While GPS tracking alerts are a great feature to keep in mind when searching for a vehicle tracking system, there are other important things to consider. Here’s a list of things to keep in mind  to ensure you’re selecting a solution that meets your fleet management needs:

1. Real-time location tracking

It’s important to evaluate how critical timely location data will be to your operations. If you need accurate tracking information for dispatchers, real-time location tracking could be especially useful to your fleet. A single location ping every 10 minutes might be sufficient for certain fleets that have vehicles driving shorter distances, but if your business requires more visibility into where your vehicles, assets, and drivers are at any given moment, consider a GPS fleet tracking system that includes live-to-the-second data.

2. All-in-one platform to manager your entire operation

For a more holistic view of your fleet or if you simply would like to consolidate providers, select a GPS tracking system that’s part of an all-in-one platform. A unified platform with features that solve multiple use cases can help you get a more tailored view of your operations while custom integrations can ensure you’re getting the most out of the tools that already work for your business. Finding a provider that can offer multiple capabilities can not only help your fleet consolidate technologies, but it can also provide additional data and reporting insights. 

3. Ease of use

When selecting a GPS tracking system for your fleet, it’s important to consider how straightforward the dashboard is and how much of a lift it will require to onboard and train employees to use it. To get your team ramped up quickly, look for a solution that’s simple to deploy and easy to install. Plug and play systems, like Samsara, can be installed in minutes versus other systems that might require hired support. Plus, Samsara includes features that go beyond GPS tracking—the all-in-one platform includes ELDs, AI Dash Cams, Site Visibility, and more.

Once install is complete, it’s equally important to have a system that’s simple to use. To ensure your system can be used across different roles in your organization, look for a solution with an intuitive dashboard that offers automatic cloud updates and built-in organizational tools. Additionally, consider a provider that can offer you the support that you need beyond just installation. 

4. Reliable connectivity 

Consider a GPS tracking system with a high-speed, in-cab WiFi hotspot to connect drivers, applications, and devices while increasing productivity and lowering costs. The Samsara Vehicle Gateway license includes up to 500MB per month of WiFi data, enabling fleets to utilize connected software to improve productivity and customer service.

Make real-time data a competitive advantage with Samsara

By integrating telematics, AI-enabled cameras, and cloud-based software, Samsara’s all-in-one connected operations platform helps fleets make measurable improvements in efficiency and provides ROI in the moments that matter. Plus, Samsara GPS tracking alerts enable you to make impactful changes in real time. 

To learn more about how Samsara can help your business make data a competitive advantage, read about how we can partner with you for the long-term, or reach out for a free trial today.

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